Vaccine ships. Don’t get excited.


Just thought I’d share a couple of things I had to say about the vaccine today:

Basically, I was just sick of all the headlines that read to me (maybe not to you, but to me) like “Yay, it’s over! Here come the vaccines!” So I added to the above thread:

Of course, part of the thing is that after I switched from news to editorial 26 years ago, I started thinking less it terms of “here’s a fact,” and more in terms of “so what should we do?” I mean, yeah, it’s a fact — vaccine doses are shipping. It’s the beginning of the beginning of a very hopeful thing that we look forward to happening over the next several months.

But what do all of us need most to be hearing right now? It is that this is a very dangerous moment, and we all need to hunker down with masks and social distancing more strenuously than ever.

And instead, the message I keep seeing is, “Look — vaccines!” And I worry about people seeing only that, and not the stories about how bad things are, and how much worse they’ll be if we as a country ignore warnings during Christmas the way we did on Thanksgiving….

If everybody reads a lot, we’re OK. Carefully read the NYT or the WSJ or Washington Post and you’ll get the whole picture. But plenty of people don’t read news at all, and watch TV, where they might see stuff like the headline pictured above. And as we know, lots of other people don’t get information from any professional news source, print or broadcast, and just go by what their friends tell them on social media. Or what Trump tells them, God help us…

55 thoughts on “Vaccine ships. Don’t get excited.

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    OK, now I’ll argue with myself:

    Brad, you’re full of hooey. Actually, you’re full of something else, but this is a family blog.

    The REAL problem now and long-term is that the vaccine will never help unless most of the population gets vaccinated. Which they won’t do if a significant portion of the population refuses to get the shot, and that appears to be the situation.

    So, what’s the best thing to do now? Get people excited about the vaccine, and maybe they’ll get excited and run out and get it first chance they get.

    You moron…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      But then I’d be like:

      Oh, yeah, that’s your solution? Propaganda? Get people excited to run out and get a shot by making this seem like more of a triumphant moment than it is? Manipulate their emotions to make them do what YOU want them to do?

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        And then the other me is like:

        You think I’M trying to manipulate them! You’re the one with the agenda, trying to control the population by causing them to take actions to contain this surge, and not get all hopeful that maybe we’re seeing a happy ending…

        Why not just report things as they happen, and trust the people to be smart enough and responsible enough to do the right thing?

        That’s what our governor Henry would do…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Then original me is all like, “You’re recommending Henry like his approach is a good thing, with us starting to top 3,000 cases daily, while he still refuses to require masks? Are you joking?…”

  2. Randle

    Can we do both — get excited about taking the vaccine while not killing ourselves while we wait our turn? You know — delayed gratification. It’s a great concept.

  3. Bryan Caskey

    It would be interesting to watch a split-screen broadcast of Biden and Harris getting the vaccine and Trump and Pence doing the same thing at the same time at the White House. That might do something to de-politicize the vaccine and encourage doubters to take it.

  4. randle

    Looks like the White House can’t wait to get in line. Do you think they’ll let Biden and Harris cut in?

    Isn’t it rich. After months of minimizing Covid, holding super-spreader events, reckless behavior, endangering myriads of Americans, and getting privileged medical care when they fall sick, the White House staff will be among the first to get vaccinated.— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) December 14, 2020

    1. Mark Stewart

      Yup, so predictable. When will the Trump base come to see they are nothing but toilet paper?

      In a normal world, Brian’s suggestion would have long been planned out – except would we really want all four going first with this vaccine? I think yes, but it would be an incredible risk.

  5. Bart

    Mark and Barry,

    Every so often, someone goes a step too damn far describing Trump supporters and to equate them with toilet paper used to wipe Trump’s ass is just too much. Whatever respect either of you had built with me no longer exists but considering the crass and disgusting equation of Trump supporters to excrement wiped off of Trump’s anus destroyed any credibility either of you once had.

    And for you Brad, to allow a disgusting reference is an example of just how damn low you have allowed your blog to fall.

    I left one time but decided to come back. Not this time, I am gone, the last thing I need in my life is to even be associated with a blog that is lower in civility than the worst of the worst on either side. And if any decent participant on this blog doesn’t condemn Mark and Barry for their nauseating reference, you are no better.

    After this, Trump supporters have more class in the clippings of one toenail than either Mark or Barry have in their entire bodies. Great Christian attitude Barry, really great – hypocrite!!!

    1. Mark Stewart

      Not sure why you are offended, Bart. All I mentioned is TP; you supplied graphic imagery I never would have offered.

      The truth is that this post-election is ridiculous; Trump himself is ridiculous, and it is ridiculous that we have fellow citizens who cannot grasp that this is not “politics” – Trump is a malignant disease on our nation. Follow him if you believe in the insanity, but do not ever expect me to countenance the abuse Trump and his malevolent minions have inflicted on our country. I accepted that people in 2016 felt why not give Trump a chance? Today, at the end of 2020, what is their defense? To me, no defense exists.

      A majority of Republicans want to see Trump overturn our Constitutional republic. Think about that. Your outrage ought to be directed at that nonsense; if it is not, then you are part of our unfolding American disaster.

      Good day.

    2. Ken

      Nobody said Trump supporters ARE toilet paper. They said his supporters are being USED that way by the pile of excrement stinking up the Oval Office.
      I agree and nobody should be confused about it.

      1. Bart

        I debated whether to respond to Mark’s reply or not but since you chimed in.

        Nothing less expected from you either. The attempt at nuance failed and it was clear that the intent was to portray Trump supporters as toilet paper and if you don’t know what TP is used for….if they are not toilet paper, then how can they be used for toilet paper?

        Or check Barry’s comment out. He got it and replied in kind.

        No need to go into the anomalies in the four swing states that are possible but statistically improbable that created the distrustful reaction. No need to address the fact that Clinton tried to persuade electors in 2016 to change their votes. No need to address the fact that in 2018, Warren and a few other Democrats had the same concerns about the Dominion and Diebold voting equipment and reliability of optical scanners. No need to address the hanging chad fiasco in 2000 and the 30 plus day challenge by Democrats that to this day most still believe the election was stolen from Gore. No need to list the number of people who want the Electoral College discarded and go with the popular vote which is direct democracy without protection of the minority. No need to warn of the dangers of allowing states like California, New York, and a couple of others to decide how this country is to be governed. Direct democracy is mob rule, not representative. No need to mention the desire to stack the SCOTUS. I am concluding that none of these things threaten threaten our Constitutional Republic as Mark noted, right? Overthrow what was wrought together by an assembly of leaders well ahead of their time that has served our Republic for over two centuries?

        No need to note that as a former programmer and systems analyst I can attest to the fact that data entered into a computer or voting machine which is driven by software can be programmed with an algorithm that will recognize trends and make corrections and adjustments by adding to one and deducting from another. I personally had to rewrite a payroll program for production employees that had an algorithm that would trigger a subroutine when an employee exceeded the top production value by any percentage and would then deduct earned wages from the employee(s). No need to mention that two of my close relatives have Masters Degrees and both are IT specialists. One is a forensic IT Security specialist for the Treasury Department and when I asked for confirmation, it was provided with an emphatic “YES!”. The other one is almost an autistic when it involves programming and algorithms and their answer was an emphatic “YES!”. Both are basically apolitical but both recognized the statistical improbability of the four swing state results even accounting for the unique COVID impact on ballot returns.

        I don’t take things like this lightly because they go to the very core of who we are supposed to be. If the same had happened with Obama, I would have been just as upset. If we cannot accept the challenge to go back and leave no stone unturned to prove or disprove with unbiased forensics, then we will eventually end up with another Venezuela or Cuba like elections.

        While my comments were more graphic, they got the point across and if you or Mark or Barry cannot accept that, then it is your problem, not mine. My point was and still is that this is the way Trump supporters are portrayed and lest you forget, over 73 million voted for Trump and if the information about Hunter Biden had been covered by the media, enough Democrats stated clearly they would have voted for Trump that would have given him the election. When they are insulted in this manner even if by inference, all it does is reinforce their devotion and belief in him and strengthen their resolve to defend him. If you don’t understand, all it is doing is creating more Trump supporters, not decreasing them. When you disown them the way they have been by Democrats and most on this blog, they don’t forget and the attempts by their harshest critics to “heal the wounds” fall on deaf ears.

        I know, I have relatives and friends who are Trump supporters and if I or anyone else referred to them as being toilet paper or being used as toilet paper, they would be lost to me forever.

        No, Mark Stewart used the wrong analogy and I called him out on it. Whether you or anyone else on this blog likes it or not, it was an insult that strikes directly to their hearts and to those who love them whether we agree with them or not. I didn’t open the door, Mark did and Barry walked through it.

        1. Mark Stewart

          To repeat and to end, Trump’s actions are not “normal” politics. They are the actions of a Mal-adjusted liar, con, cheat and all around malevolent malcontent. Yes, he has a way of somehow retaining supporters, why that is is for history to decide; but it will not be kind to either Trump or his supporters. Ever.

          Many Americans are going to have to come to terms with their own culpability in this Trumpian national nightmare. That said, the rest of us should not countenance such behavior, support or cluelessness. If that offends, then be offended. However, I would prefer to see more self-reflection and less normalization. This is NOT normal – period.

        2. Barry

          On another note

          today GOP “electors” tried to get into the room where electors were voting for Joe Biden. They were turned away by security/police.

        3. Barry

          I’m not concerned with how Trump supporters feel about it anymore than Trump supporters were concerned about things During and after the 2016 election when many trump supporters embraced And repeated the “f#$% your feelings” mantra that became and still is extremely popular at trump rallies.

          You don’t join Trumpers, you beat them at the ballot box.

        4. Ken

          This is what conspiracy mongering and tendentiousness look like.
          So … um … thanks for providing examples of both.

    3. Barry

      I didn’t call them toilet paper. I said they were proud to be used that way By Trump

      And that seems to be the case in many instances.

  6. Bryan Caskey

    So…how about them Yankees? Or also topical for baseball, the Cleveland Indians announced they are dropping “Indians” from their name. Wonder what they’ll pick? Not having ever been to Cleveland, I’m not sure what really identifies that city.

    I wonder if the Atlanta Braves are next.

    They “Braves” name originally goes back to when the team was in Boston and in 1912, the team was named the “Braves” because the team’s owner was nicknamed one of the “braves” of New York City’s political machine, Tammany Hall, which used an Indian chief as their symbol.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          By the way, before someone chides ME for bad Southern dialect. I’m not trying to sound like anybody I know; I’m just trying to sound like Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. Which was quite distinctive.

          And I’m not criticizing it. I actually think that was one of the more effective uses of an over-the-top Southern accent ever in film. It really made the character…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I think most of us identify Cleveland with two things… the Indians, and that time their river caught on fire. Which is why they used Randy Newman’s song during the opening credits of “Major League”…

    2. bud

      I don’t think “Indians” was especially offensive but their mascot was atrocious. Surprised that lasted as long as it did.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        Yeah, I would have kept the Indians name, but changed the mascot. That’s essentially what the Braves have done. The mascot for the Braves is this guy:

  7. James Edward Cross

    Grew up near Cleveland. It is known as the “Forest City.” Credit for inspiring the name is generally given to William Case, secretary of the Cleveland Horticultural Society in the 1840s and mayor (1850-51), who encouraged the planting of shade and fruit trees. Nowadays many people would associate it with the “Emerald Necklace,” a series of parks, hiking trails, biking trails, horse trails, nature preserves, scenic wonders, and public golf courses that circle the city of Cleveland.

    Sports-wise there is also the Browns (football) and Cavaliers (basketball). The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland (the phrase was coined there). The city has an excellent art museum (recently renovated) and orchestra. There are many ethnic neighborhoods and the restaurants to go with them. Cincinnati may have its chili but Cleveland has the “Polish Boy:” a sausage sandwich which consists of a link of kielbasa placed in a bun, and covered with a layer of french fries, a layer of barbecue sauce or hot sauce, and a layer of coleslaw. Messy, but good!

    Oh, and the Cuyahoga River is much cleaner these days. Some good things did come out of the fire; it helped inspire the Clean Water Act, the creation of the EPA, and Earth Day. Now part of it make up the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

    1. Randle

      Cleveland is a lovely city; I took my daughter there when she was trying to decide what college to choose, and we looked at Case Western. Very nice school, but she chose another one. We stayed with a friend who told us that the house next door was once a hub of civil rights activities, and Cleveland played a major role in the Underground Railroad. Many of the “stations” or safe havens still stand. Can’t imagine a more honorable contribution to our country. Maybe the Cleveland team could become Cleveland Abolitionists. Unless that would set too many people’s hair on fire.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        It’s a good thought but Cleveland Abolitionists doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue. In fact, it’s quite a mouthful. Also, what’s the short nickname? The Yankees are the Yanks; The Nationals are the Nats; the Marlins are the Fish; etc. Not really a good way to shorten Abolitionists.

        For the Underground Railroad, you could go with something on the train/railroad theme.

        The Cleveland Express
        The Cleveland Conductors
        The Cleveland Night Trains

        Just off the top of my head…

        But the Rock and Roll angle is also intriguing….

        1. Randle

          Agreed, now that I think about it. Also, the mascot would pose a huge problem. Rock and Roll theme has much better possibilities. And songs.

        2. bud

          Cleveland Twisters would be kinda cool. Referencing the Twist dance but with a formidable weather event theme.

          1. Bryan Caskey

            That’s not bad! Maybe with a cyclone sort of logo? That could work.

            This makes me nostalgic for when MLB set up the team in Washington DC in 2004-05. When they were deciding on the team name, I thought the idea of the Washington Federals was such a missed opportunity. It worked for the district, was a good plural for federal troops, and the shortened name of The Feds was so great. It just worked.

            Just imagine: “The Feds come into Chicago today riding a two game winning streak“…lots of fun possibilities. You don’t want the Feds coming to get you.

          2. James Edward Cross

            If they wanted to go really retro the could go with the precursor to the Indians, the Cleveland Spiders (hey, it works for the University of Richmond!) Cy Young played for them.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              And HE was a petty good hurler.

              But I can’t say much for Spiders. Twisters is better than that. So was Indians…

              It does, though, have the advantage of precedent…

              1. James Edward Cross

                The only problem with Twisters is that it has certain negative connotations in the Midwest …. 🙂

              2. James Edward Cross

                You’ll enjoy this as a former newspaperman. The _Cleveland Plain Dealer_ conducted a poll on Monday on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts asking folks to rate the following names: Spiders, Buckeyes, Guardians, Rockers, and Defenders (don’t know where Guardians and Defenders came from).

                On Facebook, the results in order of popularity were Spiders, Guardians, Rockers, Buckeyes, and Defenders. Other reader-supplied ideas were the Tribe (still a bit problematic), the Commodores (for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry of Battle of Lake Erie fame), the Slider (from the current mascot, a Phillie Phanatic clone), the Garfields (for President James A. Garfield) , the Buzzards (turkey vultures come back to Hinckley, OH every March 15th, beating out those famous swallows by a couple of days) and just the Cleveland Baseball Club.

                On Instagram and Twitter the name Guardians was the most popular. Users there suggested the Walleyes.

    2. Randle

      Cleveland is a lovely city; I took my daughter there when she was trying to decide what college to choose, and we looked at Case Western. Very nice school, but she chose another one. We stayed with a friend who told us that the house next door was once a hub of civil rights activities, and Cleveland played a major role in the Underground Railroad. Many of the “stations” or safe havens still stand. Can’t imagine a more honorable contribution to our country. Maybe the Cleveland team could become Cleveland Abolitionists. Unless that would set too many people’s hair on fire. And as I type, Joe Biden has been elected.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Gee, y’all, I wasn’t trying to pick on Cleveland. I LIKE Randy Newman, and I very much enjoyed “Major League.”

        I know one other thing about it — that’s where Floyd DeBarber went home to in “30 Rock.” Apparently, Liz enjoyed her visit there, but decided not to stay.

        There’s a rock ‘n’ roll museum there.

        It’s in Ohio.

        OK, now I’m out of things I know about it…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Oh, wait — I also did know that the Cuyahoga was cleaner, and had led to important legislation that helped clean water across the country. At least, I remembered that I knew it when James Edward mentioned it.

          But give me a break. I may not be normal about a lot of things, but I’m normal in this: I remember a river catching fire, and it sticks in the mind the way rivers that don’t catch fire do not…

          1. Randle

            I didn’t think you were dissing Cleveland. I thought it was a hell hole when my friend said he was moving there, but he assured me that it had turned around, and the river was no longer spontaneously combusting. He sails his boat on it.
            I was just sharing what I learned about it when I went there. I was pleasantly surprised.

          2. Randle

            I didn’t think you were dissing Cleveland. I was under the impression it was a hell hole because of the river. When my friend said he was moving there, he assured me the river was no longer spontaneously combusting and the city had a lot going for it. He sails his boat on the river now.
            I was just sharing what I learned about it when I went there. I was pleasantly surprised.

            1. Barry

              It’s obviously changed.

              when I was up there about 20 years ago for some training with the federal government I was not impressed. I thought it was a pretty dirty city at the time

        1. Randle

          What an impressive school that is! Very solid and great faculty and students when we were there. The poly sci department was small when my daughter was looking at it, so she went elsewhere. Great pre-med.

          1. Bob Amundson

            The Case Western/Cleveland Clinic partnership is a model that would be nice to have in Columbia!

            1. Randle

              That ‘s a great idea! It’s an excellent set-up for pre-med and biology students. My Cleveland friend was a doctor at the Clinic, and had high praise for the school and the students. He said Case Western had an excellent track record placing students in their fields, which appealed to me.

  8. Brad Warthen Post author

    Want a good example of vaccine hype getting out of hand? Even my Accuweather app is trying to get in on the excitement…


    Oh, and by the way, let me end the suspense. There’s no way a snowstorm, major or otherwise, “could impact distribution” of the vaccine.

    You know why? Because it’s impossible for anything to “impact” anything else. “Impact” is a noun, not a verb…

  9. Randle

    Sorry about the double posts. Recaptcha kept telling me I made a error and to try again. Then posted my entry twice. I gave up after a while because I kept getting errors. Turns out it was something with our WiFis. We have terrible reception here.

Comments are closed.